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Thread: Retrofitting Idratek in soon to be our house

  1. #31
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    I've specced 12way DIN mounted modules to control whole house lighting near the CU

    I'll then run 1.00 T&E to each light.

    For sockets, the cost and space require to run dedicated 2.5T&E just doesn't appeal to me...especially with the hassle of reverting the system back when it comes to selling.

  2. #32
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    What erks me about all the regs is it doesn't stop the cowboys and like health and safety it becomes more draconian to ensure its existence. One of the worst houses for wiring I have ever seen was a council house that was recently re-wired. Many of the metal back boxes weren't earthed, pattresses were sitting proud of the wall and a lighting rose was being used as a junction box.
    Yup. Like many other things these days, somewhat dubious statistics are rolled out to justify the ever increasingly onerous regulations.
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  3. #33
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonS View Post
    OR (and I've no idea if this is allowed in the regs)... use an outlet of the ample structured wiring you are probably installing and create a project-box with mains feed in from a socket on your ring main, Idranet in via your structured wiring and put the relays, fuses and outlets into a suitable enclosure. This won't be compact but in the long run will be better than the excess wall-sockets that have been discussed; you can move it about (structured wiring permitting) and when RF arrives you can remove it completely. Obviously in this case you would have to take care to label the cat5/6 sockets used for Idranet carefully else 12-15V might fry an ethernet device. You would feed Idranet into the structured wiring at the patch panel linking into a 6WA or similar module. I think this is also what SimBarr was suggesting.
    2p
    I've been thinking along similar lines since I have structured wiring and am fed up with X10.

    Technically the Regs don't apply because it's not fixed wiring. It would not be hard to do this in a safe manner. You don't need an FCU, since the plug is fused. So single gang pattress for a DRH and a double. Use surface mounting pattresses and I reckon you might be able to just glue them, otherwise a bit of wood on the back. Punchouts in the side of the pattresses to link through, they obviously meet the insulation requirements, you'd just need to ensure adequate cable retention for the mains cable.
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  4. #34
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    just a thought, & going back to the original question, this might be worth a read :

    http://www.idratek.com/public/docs/g...on_guide_5.pdf

    particularly the last section ...

  5. #35
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Am I able to wire a Idratek module (If so, which one?) to every double plug socket on the ring mains, so in theory every double socket is controlled (but still locally switched although don't have to be)?
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    Welcome eddr,

    I am in the same position as you retro-fitting Idratek modules to my home. In my situation I am using DRH modules to individually switch two sockets, however this means using four patress fittings, one for a switched fuse spur, one for the DRH and two individual wall sockets, in essence I use the following guide:

    http://www.idratek.com/public/docs/g...RH_modules.pdf

    HTH

    Paul
    I just can't believe this is the only realistic (Idranet) retro-fit solution without the need for extensive additionl re-wiring. IMO having 4 patress boxes, especially with one of them being a fused connection unit with a red light glowing away, in any kind of visible room location is plain UGLY. It would definitely NOT pass my SWMBO litmus test - even in lower visibilty locations such as behind furniture, just seems too intrusive.

    I think I'm in a similar position to the OP in that I'm wanting to automate 2 lamps (at opposing corners of my lounge) which we tend to use more than the main ceiling light itself. Currently these are controlled via X10 lamp modules but I'm wanting to migrate them across to Idratek kit . . .

    At the minute I'm planning on the later option that I think is being suggested in this thread in that I'm planning on making my own Idranet version of my X10 plug in Lamp modules (albeit ending up slightly larger) . . . combining a DRH module, a plug, a single socket and an RJ45 Faceplate - this should give me the flexibility of avoiding excessive wall-hacking due to my retrofit scenario until such a time as I can decorate the room and 'do it properly' . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Also, I have noticed in our soon to be house that theres a light downstairs by the front door, and a light at the top of the stairs. The light at the top of the stairs has a dimmer switch at the top of the stairs, but downstairs has a normal switch which is a double (one switch turns the light by the front door on and off, the other the light at the top). How would I go about changing the light at the top of the stairs to be Idratek controlled whilst also having the light at the bottom also controlled?
    I have the same situation (although neither are currently dimmable) . . .

    Assuming the wiring is as I suspect it is . . . I planned on changing both light switches to SLD-002's (so that I can use the dimming functionality for 'soft start' lighting and lower levels of brightness at night for loo trips) which'll probably then involve permenently junctioning one of the 2 switched lives - I'm guessing behind the downstairs switch.

    There is more than 1 way in which your wiring might be setup . . . see here;

    http://www.electronics-project-desig...tchWiring.html

    Hope this helps

    Cliff

  6. #36
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffwright View Post
    I just can't believe this is the only realistic (Idranet) retro-fit solution without the need for extensive additionl re-wiring. IMO having 4 patress boxes, especially with one of them being a fused connection unit with a red light glowing away, in any kind of visible room location is plain UGLY. It would definitely NOT pass my SWMBO litmus test - even in lower visibilty locations such as behind furniture, just seems too intrusive.

    I think I'm in a similar position to the OP in that I'm wanting to automate 2 lamps (at opposing corners of my lounge) which we tend to use more than the main ceiling light itself. Currently these are controlled via X10 lamp modules but I'm wanting to migrate them across to Idratek kit . . .

    At the minute I'm planning on the later option that I think is being suggested in this thread in that I'm planning on making my own Idranet version of my X10 plug in Lamp modules (albeit ending up slightly larger) . . . combining a DRH module, a plug, a single socket and an RJ45 Faceplate - this should give me the flexibility of avoiding excessive wall-hacking due to my retrofit scenario until such a time as I can decorate the room and 'do it properly' . . .



    I have the same situation (although neither are currently dimmable) . . .

    Assuming the wiring is as I suspect it is . . . I planned on changing both light switches to SLD-002's (so that I can use the dimming functionality for 'soft start' lighting and lower levels of brightness at night for loo trips) which'll probably then involve permenently junctioning one of the 2 switched lives - I'm guessing behind the downstairs switch.

    There is more than 1 way in which your wiring might be setup . . . see here;

    http://www.electronics-project-desig...tchWiring.html

    Hope this helps

    Cliff
    Cliff,

    Thanks for that - As it turns out, my uncle is a certified electrician which I didn't know, so this is going to be very handy when things start moving along.... I will most likely get him to as you say, junction one of the lives.

    It IS a shame about the whole idea having a fused switch, Idratek module and two single sockets, but as Idratek offers alot more in other areas, I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet on this one.... still not sure how I'm going to proceed though.... do I just forget the sockets for now, or put a couple in 'hidden' behind things like the sofa.

    Hmmmm

  7. #37
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Potentially good news....

    I've been playing around (and distracting myself from my renovation!) and think I've found a way to automate electrical sockets without the need for any extra patresses on the wall It's essentially just tweaking Idratek modules...

    I've ordered some components to build a functional mockup and whilst I'm happy on the concept and theory of operation I'm just checking it's going to comply with current building regs....

    Should it be ok, plan will be to produce step by step instructions for people to make their own units and the only visual modification will be to convert a double socket to a twin single. You won't be able to see any sign of "Idratekness".

    Will keep you posted....

  8. #38
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Greps,

    Sounds interesting! What modules are being used with your idea?

  9. #39
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Interesting indeed . . . do tell . . .

  10. #40
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffwright View Post
    I just can't believe this is the only realistic (Idranet) retro-fit solution without the need for extensive additionl re-wiring. IMO having 4 patress boxes, especially with one of them being a fused connection unit with a red light glowing away, in any kind of visible room location is plain UGLY. It would definitely NOT pass my SWMBO litmus test - even in lower visibilty locations such as behind furniture, just seems too intrusive.
    I sometimes think we forget how lucky we are

    There have been at least 4 different ways to automate a power outlet discussed, offering various compromises between amount of rewire and visible impact. If you look at the alternative automation solutions you would find out the either automating power is not supported, or the only method is complete rewire with spurs back to a distribution centre, all at significantly higher prices.

    It's also possible to get fused outlets without indicators.

    When if comes to providing outlets specifically for lighting, then there is another option, you can take a feed off your existing lighting circuit and switch in a DRB/SRH/DRH/XRM and then provide a 3A round pin outlet. No FCU's required.

    Yes, it would be very nice to have a 13A double with the IDRATEK boards built in, or included in the back. But the tooling and approval testing for such a thing would run into many many thousands, so the resulting units would not be very affordable. If Idratek were to produce a board that fitted behind a double socket there would be howls when it was found to be not compatible with some person's favourite socket manufacture/model, or didn't fit in their existing 12mm back box.
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